PRINT December 2004

FILM: Best of 2004

James Quandt


1. The World (Jia Zhang-ke) Baudrillard goes to Beijing. In Jia’s sad, encompassing vision of the new China, all is fake, forgery, or facsimile—except the desire to escape.

2. Notre Musique (Jean-Luc Godard) Godard’s Dantean triptych spills us into the abyss of the last century and suggests we will live forever with its slaughterous legacy.

3. 10e Chambre, Instants d’audiences (Raymond Depardon) The French photographer turns the proceedings of a Paris courtroom into a Balzacian fresco; funny and flinch-making.

4. Rheinmetall/Victoria 8 (Rodney Graham) A massive, clattery, ’50s Italian projector produces soundless imagery of another vintage machine: a ’30s German typewriter on whose keyboard sifts and settles a fine white powder. Flour? Crematoria residuum? The ashes of time? In any case, a slow snow of oblivion.

5. Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien) Ironically, as Ozu’s influence on

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